Bangladesh agree to tour dubious Pakistan
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AFP) — Bangladesh have agreed in principle to tour Pakistan early next year and become the first team to play international cricket there since the 2009 attack on Sri Lanka's team bus, officials said yesterday.
"We have in principle agreed to tour Pakistan. It's a commitment made by former BCB (Bangladesh Cricket Board) President Mustafa Kamal. We are keeping his word," Enayet Husain Siraj, the board's head of cricket operations, told AFP.
"The tour is subject to security clearance," he added.
Foreign teams have since refused to tour Pakistan since an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009, which left eight people dead and seven Sri Lankan players wounded.
Bangladesh had also accepted an invitation to tour Pakistan last April for a short limited-over series but the Dhaka High Court blocked the tour on security grounds.
Officials have said they see no judicial bar this time although Jalal Yunus, a spokesman for the BCB, said the board was still awaiting a security plan from its counterparts in Pakistan which would be discussed before signing off on the tour.
"We'll sit with our stakeholders including players and concerned government officials very soon," he told AFP.
Yunus said Pakistan had proposed two matches to take place in Lahore from January 12-13, one of which would be a 50-over international game and the other a Twenty20 contest.
In October Pakistan successfully hosted two Twenty20 exhibition matches involving a group of largely retired stars from South Africa, the West Indies, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.
Pakistan are due to play two Twenty20 games in India later this month and three 50 over matches in the first series between the two neighbours in five years.